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Podcast: Electric Vehicles & Infrastructure with Kevin Miller, ChargePoint

Posted on February 26, 2021


Kevin George Miller - GovLove

Kevin George Miller

Kevin Miller
Director of Public Policy
ChargePoint, Inc.
LinkedIn | Twitter


The electric revolution. Kevin Miller, the Director of Public Policy for ChargePoint, joined the podcast to talk about electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. He shared how electric vehicles and charging stations can be integrated into the built environment. Kevin also discussed how cities can support the adoption of electric vehicles such as by making changes to building codes.

Host: Javon Davis

 

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Learn More

ChargePoint – The Electric Revolution is Here Presentation

ChargePoint Website

Marin County’s Dana Armanino On How EV Charging Helps California Reach Its Sustainability Goals

Vermont says charging stations shouldn’t face same rules as utilities

Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations in Boulder, Colorado


Episode Transcription

Javon Davis  00:08

What’s up Gov Love listeners? Today we are chatting with Kevin Miller, who is the Director of Public Policy for ChargePoint Incorporated, about renewable energy, electric vehicles and how they will impact local government. Kevin, welcome to Gov Love.

Kevin Miller  00:21

Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be on the show.

Javon Davis  00:24

Yeah, really looking forward to our conversation. But first, I want to start with a fun round of questions just to help our listeners with you know, you better. 

Kevin Miller  00:31

Okay. 

Javon Davis  00:32

So you know, we live in, unfortunately, pandemic world.

Kevin Miller  00:35

Right.

Javon Davis  00:36

So everyone is picking up a new hobby or found some way to pass time. What has been your quarantine hobby?

Kevin Miller  00:42

It’s a, man, that is the big question. We’re all going to compare notes once we’re all vaccinated and, and see who did the most self improvement. I didn’t learn something new. So no new tricks, but I’m trying to perfect my old tricks. I grew up playing music, classical music, and then I decided it was really important to dye my hair turquoise and learn how to play the guitar. So I’ve been trying to just get back into the habit of playing music on a daily basis. Some days, I make it work days, other days I don’t. But it’s just good to turn off the screen every once in a while.

Javon Davis  01:21

Now, that’s really fun. I actually always had a guitar, but I’ve never tried to play it. So I got the fender online. It was, I was going strong for like two months, and I bought the full subscription, which is like the whole toy that gets you for free.

Kevin Miller  01:36

Yeah.

Javon Davis  01:36

You buy it, then I mean, you never use it. And I’ve been that guy who just has not used it since.

Kevin Miller  01:40

But you’ve got two months of solid foundation, you know, you could be hosting, you know, a guitar shredding podcast, you know, within six to 12 months,

Javon Davis  01:52

Probably more like six to 12 years for me, but you know, we’ll go from that. Alright, next question. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Kevin Miller  02:02

Man. All right. So I have the true to heart response. And I have the practical response. The true to heart response is Thin Min t. It’s a classic, so crispy, so delightful. I wish other cookies in that genre could approach it. But everyone in the house loves Thin Mint. And so I know that no one bought me like samoas. So there’s a lot of haters of coconut in my immediate family. So yeah, that’s that’s the practical one. If I don’t want to fight over cookies.

Javon Davis  02:38

Yeah. Do you eat your Thin Mints frozen? Or have you tried them frozen? Because I hear that’s popular.

Kevin Miller  02:43

I didn’t think I was gonna learn something new so quickly. You’re supposed to freeze Thin Mints? 

Javon Davis  02:48

People do it. I’ve tried it. It’s fine. It tastes very similar, just harder. But people love it doing it that way.

Kevin Miller  02:56

Man, there’s all these dessert hacks. I dip french fries in Wendy’s Frosties. That’s something that you haven’t lived until you’ve done that, but I’m gonna go freeze the rest of the Thin Mints after this, this episode.

Javon Davis  03:10

I also love Samoas. I don’t like coconut usually, like I don’t eat coconut on anything else. Nothing, nothing else. But I would tear those up every year.

Kevin Miller  03:21

That’s the one exception. You’re like, if stranded on an island, I will not drink coconut water or eat the coconut flesh. But I need airdropped Samoas.

Javon Davis  03:31

Yes. Yes, absolutely. So you live in New York now, you lived in Boston. What’s like what your favorite thing about living in a new in the northeast for someone new who hasn’t explored that area much at all? I’d love to hear what you love about the area and things someone would check out.

Kevin Miller  03:46

Oh, wow. Man, that’s tough. I’d say the most attractive accents in the United States are all throughout the northeast and maybe dip it into the Mid Atlantic. But, you know, I think that everyone’s so packed together, right? I grew up, you know, in New York City, then I ended up spending a bunch of time in New England. But all these states jammed together I think just creates a really interesting opportunity for melting pots. But it also, you know, creates the opportunity for a fun chip on the shoulder. So if if anyone’s ever gone skiing or snowboarding on in your audience, if you’ve done so, on the East Coast, you’re basically ice skating. And that’s something that I think that anyone who does that, like really appreciates even if you’ve only gone once, you know, it’s like wow, I survived that. And, you know, as much as I love the great outdoors in the Rockies, and you know, out in California, they they’re just blessed with all this powdery snow. And I don’t think you know, I don’t think they’ve really pulled themselves up by their ski bootstraps enough to enjoy their all the bounty of snow that they’ve got without having to do the ice skating first. Yeah, so I think I guess I’ll summarize that with a grit.

Javon Davis  05:14

I like it. I like it. All right, this is my signature question. Okay. It’s a hard one. Well, I don’t think it’s very hard if you lived in a world where you can go to brunch are you getting a bloody mary or Mimosa? Where do you fall?

Kevin Miller  05:32

Yeah, that that is the, that’s not an easy question. Both good for their own right I used to work in restaurants in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I had both witness and sometimes help in pressing all the fresh juice so I always feel guilty ordering a mimosa or like a greyhound you know going on the grapefruit side but you know I think if you can have it that’s that’s the way to go. I mean, if it’s fresh squeezed you know, you can’t go wrong.

Javon Davis  06:05

I think most people don’t really like you are pretty much in the middle you feel like you can go either way. And I have never no one ever is like in the middle they’re always like on polar opposites are either like I would never in my life make a bloody mary or, or Mimosa. I just didn’t know the people who were in the middle.

Kevin Miller  06:19

I mean, I think I’m on an end of the spectrum. I’m on both ends of the spectrum because I like only super spicy Bloody Marys. And really, I’ll only order a greyhound, right? So it’s either sour and not giving you what you get out of a mimosa, or your mouth on fire. It doesn’t matter which way you’re just drinking it.

Javon Davis  06:37

Yeah. So I used I used to bartend as well. So my least favorite thing to make was a Bloody Mary. So I think just from that, because he had to do the mix and stuff. Like I’d rather orange then. Once the work is done, you just pour in the champagne.

Kevin Miller  06:55

What’s the craziest garnish you’ve put in a bloody mary cause I’ve seen some crazy ones in my day.

Javon Davis  07:03

Nothing. I haven’t done anything crazy. So it was just like, so I worked at a place that was pretty basic. It wasn’t really that wasn’t their thing. But uh, yeah, I’ve seen like shrimp and steak and like, all kinds of stuff for the buddy mary and it’s like, this is this is a meal not a cocktail, this is lunch.

Kevin Miller  07:20

Man. Yeah, brunch, brunch is where he just break all conventions, you know? 

Javon Davis  07:24

Yeah, So you’re having soup with a side of whatever toppings it’s like, why even get food at that point?

Kevin Miller  07:30

Yeah, I mean, your your meal starts and ends with the drink. And it’s a it’s efficient.

Javon Davis  07:38

Fair, fair. Alright, thank you for a great lightning round. I’m sure our listeners are gonna love to, to get to know you better and learn more about your taste in Bloody Marys and Girl Scout Cookies. But now I want to talk about kind of the substance of that episode and get into like the really exciting, new, you know, technologies that are happening to power cars and power homes and will change most of our lives are the next several years, I would think. But I really want to hear how they impact local governments too. Before we do that, can you tell us your life story two, three minutes just so everyone can, can get to know your background and where you come from?

Kevin Miller  08:15

Sure. Yeah, so I mentioned before that I grew up in New York City. My mom and dad are from France, and Australia respectively. They both worked for the UN. So I grew up two blocks from the United Nations. I went to school at the UN school, from kindergarten to 12th grade. And then from then I sort of went walkabout away from New York City to study acting at college in Boston, and I got terrified of becoming an actor and having that be my only thing. So I got involved in politics. And then I was kind of doing both acting and politics. In Massachusetts, I worked in the State Senate. For a few years, I got really into that work. I thought it was exciting work. I started to get involved on the campaign side. And so I was in New Hampshire with the Democratic Party in the ’08 cycle. And then I went to grad school for policy, went back into public service in Massachusetts, but on the executive branch side, and then made the move back to New York and pivoted into this really exciting role at Chargepoint, where I get to focus on policy issues, to support expanding access to transportation electrification, all over the United States and all over the world.

Javon Davis  09:44

Great. I love that. It’s a great story. It’s I love the transition from from theater and acting, but I feel like you know, you probably do a lot of that now when you’re presenting and talking to people about electric vehicles and you probably get really into it and like, sort of, you’ve probably still express all that artistic ability in your day to day.

Kevin Miller  10:05

I’d like to think that but you know, some of the issues that that come up related to electric vehicles and transportation electrification are incredibly in the weeds and and your listeners will will appreciate, you know, how complex and challenging it can be to thread needles on technical issues at local and state and even federal levels. But at the local level, there’s so many stakeholders to take into account that even when I try and exercise all the, you know, whatever chops I have left from, from acting, and and that kind of work earlier in my life, you can only make building codes sounds so exciting, even though from a policy level, they’re incredibly exciting, and, you know, are huge drivers for, for transportation electrification. 

Javon Davis  10:59

Yeah, so, in other words, like, here, I think everyone, you know, knows that electric vehicles are happening, but they might not know know. Like not, might not be in the weeds there. So can you kind of talk broadly about the industry, how it’s growing, just so people can kind of have a better understanding before we frame the discussion before we fully dive in?

Kevin Miller  11:20

Sure. So I think the transportation industry in general is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift we see across the country and across the world, folks are trying to figure out what are the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas and other particulate matter emissions. And, you know, particularly in the northeast, we’ve already done a great job at doing that, in the electricity sector, through the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative. So that’s a an opt in a state compact to minimize emissions from electricity. What we’re seeing now is, well, the next lowest hanging fruit is really the transportation sector where depending on, you know, what state you you live in, it could be anywhere, you know, up to, you know, 40 to 60, some odd percent of emissions could come from the transportation sector, as opposed to, to electricity generation. So that is one key goal. That’s, that’s over arching and sort of setting the backdrop. But from the transportation perspective, the way that people refuel their vehicles is fundamentally changing. When you grow up learning how to drive, and I didn’t have a driver’s license until I was, you know, well past 18, because I grew up in New York City, and I didn’t need one. But as you’re learning to drive you learn and it’s ingrained in your head that you know, a little bit before or right when that little light pops up on your dashboard. That’s when you have to go to a gas station. And so the pitstop experience is, you know, only as needed, it is the destination. The difference with transportation electrification, is that you’re refueling your vehicle when you arrive at your destination, right, so 90% of the time, that’s probably at home. If, and once we’re all vaccinated, that’ll start to be at work if we’re not on zoom constantly. But it could also be when you’re getting groceries or when you’re stopping, you know, to watch the little league game, whatever it might be. So there will still be a need to have that sort of faster rest stop experience. But that’s never going to be you know, two minutes. That’s not going to be you know, as quick a turnaround in the immediate future, I think we’re still seeing even with higher powered faster charging a significant, you know, time anywhere from 15 to 30, 60 minutes, depending on how much charge you have left and and how fast your car can charge. So this is creating new investment opportunities because people are providing charging as an amenity. We’re seeing new market entrants into the automobile space because of huge advances in battery technology.We’re seeing that take place not just for personal vehicles, but for fleet vehicles be that a public transit fleet or, you know, a private shared mobility fleet. So all of these opportunities are out there and they’re starting to take advantage of the fundamental economics that it costs less to operate and own an electric vehicle. And, you know, having more broad and widespread access, you know, hits on all those points, it reduces particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions. It helps support brand new investment and opportunities to have economic development and job creation. And it saves you know, public sector fleets and private businesses and individual drivers a significant amount of money relative to running their traditional internal combustion engine vehicle. So there’s a lot of folks who are in the charging market, in the vehicle market, I think we’re gonna see, you know, tremendous innovation, you know, Chargepoint has been at this for for 13 years, I’ve worked for charge one for five years, things have changed a lot. And we’re gonna see, you know, continued opportunities to grow and, and have more great ideas to make transportation electrification available broadly, throughout the US.

Javon Davis  15:34

Great, I think you’ve really touched on some of what you envision the future to be for electric vehicles. Can you talk about how you think local governments can play a role in getting us to a place where they’re more welcome. They’re more, you know, easily adaptable to you know, we all think about the system we have in place now, I’m sure. You know, it’s hard for some people to get to a fuel, to a recharge station, what role can local governments play to help make the transition transition a little more smoothly, smoother for people who want to buy electric vehicle?

Kevin Miller  16:06

That’s a great question. I mean, there’s so many complimentary actions that can be taken at the local level to go along with what states are doing and what the federal government is doing. I sort of put two big buckets out there. One is, you know, looking at existing codes, ordinances and permitting processes. Are the ones that we’ve put in place at the local level, supportive? And do they lower barriers to increase transportation electrification. So I mentioned building codes at the beginning of the podcast, if you make new construction parking spaces, ready for the installation of EV charging stations, so with all the wiring and the conduit and the electrical capacity, when the building is built, so avoiding the need to go back at a later date, and dig up an existing parking lot, if you put all the elements in place to make it possible to just hook up a station. In the future, you decrease costs for installing charging infrastructure by often more than half. And that’s a significant opportunity for municipalities to advance transportation electrification. This is typically referred to as an EV Ready building code requirement. And we’ve seen cities and states around the country adopt these and that’s really meaningful. It doesn’t sound as exciting as an incentive program. But I think it’s helpful for us to think about, in general, how do we make sure that our built environment is more sustainable from the get go? You know, how do we look at energy efficiency? How do we look at transportation, electrification, all of these different roles and purposes that our built environment is playing? And how do we prep from day one, to extract the most value and have the most beneficial outcome? You know, if you have smart, connected charging stations in your building, you can manage how those chargers work and how much power they consume remotely, and you can make sure that you’re efficiently managing power from from the building, and supporting greater transportation electrification. There are also ways you know, looking at how cities and counties permit the installation of chargers even you know, how do we make that process a little bit more transparent, and a little bit more streamlined. For developers of EV charging stations, there are pretty straightforward ways to do so. And a number of states, California has recently taken action on this and in the northeast, NASSCOM did a great report on streamlining permanent, you know, so I think there’s a lot of actions that can be taken that fall under, you know, these are things that we’re already doing, and how do we do them differently. The other bucket that I’d point to is what are ways for local governments to lead by example. And fleet operators are the closest thing in real life outside of an economic textbook that we’ll ever get to finding a rational economic actor. If if you’re able to reduce capital and operating costs for your vehicle fleet, because of the investment in transportation electrification, that’s going to be the smart action to take place. And this will take coordinated efforts, you know, across, you know, different city agencies to ensure that as we’re building our budgets, and we’re trying to balance the books that we’re identifying, well, where are the savings, where are the investment Instead of necessary, how can we leverage, you know, the the bonding capabilities of public institutions? And how can we ensure that we’ve got, you know, lower total cost of ownership for our vehicle fleet operators. And that starts to really get to some key and important equity issues, because a lot of people, especially in dense urban environments, don’t have access to a personal vehicle. So, you know, by looking at what type of public vehicles local governments already operate, we can make sure that the vehicles that are in community streets aren’t producing tailpipe emissions and are helping to be part of a comprehensive electric grid solution for beneficial electrification.

Javon Davis  20:47

Great, you mentioned EV Ready building codes? And I know for me, I love looking at other cities as like a case study if I’m ever doing research. Are there any cities that aren’t doing that well, that you’d think you’d like to call out for people to kind of see is a model for for that?

Kevin Miller  21:02

Yeah, well, I mean, there’s a couple of different ways that you might see an EV Ready code. So there might be a requirement for a full EV charger, to be installed at a parking space, there might be a requirement to have all the wiring all the conduit and all the electrical capacity so that you can plug and go right away. And there might be a lower tier requirement to have only the conduit just so that you don’t have to break ground again. A lot of cities have been implementing building codes. So if you look at Boulder, they’ve got requirements for both residential, multifamily residential and commercial. Honolulu, Chicago. You know, we see a lot of cities in Arizona. And there’s plenty of cities and towns, you know, on the west coast in general, that are that are doing this, I think one of the most recent additions to that list would be Chicago, and you’re seeing a mix of focus on both single and multifamily residential and requirements for commercial spaces. So that if we are having construction of new parking spots that are part of our city planning, just making sure that we can avoid future costs and make it that much easier to increase access to charging.

Javon Davis  22:22

Great, thank you for sharing that on the fly. You know, I always think about thinking about the streetscape. So you know how I’m imagining like, you know, sort of, you know, instead of like metered parking, instead of having a meter there, there’ll be a charging station and like just how did you imagine that our EV future will impact streetscapes?

Kevin Miller  22:44

That’s a great question. Yeah, I mean, the built environment is continually changing. I think that you have the capabilities because EV charging is essentially a combination of refueling and parking. Because you’re spending, you know, at least 10 to 15, if not more minutes, a couple hours if you’re on a lower power charger. Because of that, you’re often if there is a fee that’s assessed by the owner and operator of a charging station, you are often assessed a fee on a per kilowatt hour basis, or and on a time basis. So they have the capability within smart connected, we call it also network charging stations, to assess appropriate fees. And and I think you’re increasingly seeing those practices around around North America in general, I think there was an example from Vancouver, a number of years back where the city was providing free charging services. And that sounds great in concept. But in practice, you ended up having significant queuing for the free chargers. So by putting in effective pricing models, and there are ways to make sure that folks get the refueling services that they need, the charging that they need. And that you’re also making sure that folks leave once charging is complete. Having a network solution making it possible for folks to find chargers either on their phone, or you know, in in app in the dashboard. Chargepoint has been integrating and trying to really be a driver focus to make it as easy as possible to find a charging and get connected. So those are tools that we provide to our customers, whether they’re, you know, a municipal fleet operator, or if they’re, you know, an individual driver. So our streetscapes are changing, because the way that we refuel is changing. And, you know, I think there should be robust consideration, not just for, you know, how do we keep the same model? How do we pattern match against what we’ve been doing? And how do we make sure that what we’re doing takes advantage of the benefits of transportation electrification. Curbside charging can work, but it might no not always be the best solution. Let’s try and you know, extract as much value and take advantage of the infrastructure that we have, and that we’re thinking to build.

Javon Davis  25:13

Great, I never thought of it as, like a way to, to generate revenue in some way, as well. So that’s, uh, interesting new you know piece there.

Kevin Miller  25:23

Yeah, I mean, I think the way that a lot of folks provide charging services, so Chargepoint you know, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of charging stations in our network, we primarily do not own or operate those, those are independently owned and operated by what we call our site hosts. And that could be a retail establishment, it might be a municipal fleet or a county fleet. Or it might be just the city itself that wants to provide charging to the public. And it’s an opportunity to create and support new value for consumers, and for the folks who are putting in the station. So, you know, if you’re providing an incentive to a driver to come visit your place of business, they’ll spend more time buying, you know, slushies and, or, or any of the things that you might need in a retail environment, or if they’re coming to work, you might have a charging as an amenity and incentive that’s offered by an employer. So it’s an opportunity to create revenue but by and large, it’s an opportunity to provide a new amenity, which can create ancillary revenue, but especially for the longer term, what we call level two electric vehicle charging, we’re not seeing a lot of folks trying to, you know, make profit off of individual sales of electronics. Really, how do we incorporate the opportunity to provide EV charging service into what we’re already doing and bolster, you know, those missions and goals? 

Javon Davis  26:54

Yeah, great. I wonder if you can talk to me now about one of the largest barriers for people to gain access to electric, electric transportation period, but electric vehicles specifically, is it? Is it always cost? Is it some, you know, fear or apprehension of what this looks like? People worry that they won’t, the charge won’t last long enough to get them to where they want to go? What are some of the big barriers there for folks?

Kevin Miller  27:16

Yeah, I think, I think battery cost has been one of the key barriers, and that’s decreasing. And we’re seeing that the total cost of ownership of vehicles, and the cost per mile of electric vehicles is significantly lower than it is for internal combustion engine vehicles. So that’s changing over time, there’s more infrastructure. And folks are starting to become more familiar with the idea that charging can and should be ubiquitous to a certain extent, how do we make sure that folks have access to charging wherever it is that they’re going to be going? But you know, how do we also make sure that folks have access to the benefits of electric transportation, whether or not they have a vehicle themselves, that’s really one of the things that policymakers can and should focus on. Because if you over rotate and think too much about individual consumer drivers, you can lose the opportunity to have a more smooth transition to clean transportation. Because if you create widespread opportunity for benefits, either by making the school buses or transit buses or garbage trucks, or transportation network companies, the right hailing opportunities to have those vehicle fleets be clean and available to to all folks. You miss out on the opportunity to expand awareness of transportation electrification, and to make sure that, you know, there’s there’s broad, broad benefit. You know, some of the other pieces that we work on are kind of out of local purview. But it’s really important for local stakeholders to have a voice in that process. So as we see, you know, more high power charging to support heavier duty vehicle electrification, those chargers usually go on very specific electricity rates, which weren’t designed for EV charging. So is there a way for local stakeholders to participate in advocacy to support access to reforming reforms for the way that electricity rates are structured to address the way the charging happens, and that’s something in the greater Boston area MAPC the Metropolitan Area Planning Council recently joined an effort to focus just on this very issue, because there’s a lot of interest in fleet electrification and in providing access to high power charging across, you know, this Regional Planning Organization in the greater Boston area. And they joined a group of stakeholders that support legislation that will require the creation of new electricity rates. So having that public voice, and that local voice as a stakeholder in all of these processes as states and the federal government think about, you know, how do we make it easier for folks to plug in and drive electric? It’s critically important that you know, even if it’s not a tool that’s within a local policymakers tool kit, it’s it’s invaluable to have a local partners in, you know, stakeholder processes in the legislative arena, to make sure that their voices are heard, and that policymakers in other jurisdictions consider those specific and unique needs.

Javon Davis  30:43

Yeah, I was thinking, I know that there are federal tax credits and other incentives. Are there any, like local incentives that you think will be helpful that you’ve seen that really kind of advocate for people to make the switch? 

Kevin Miller  30:55

Oh, there’s a huge array of incentives that are available. And that can make it easier for folks to to go electric, there are tax credits, which typically, you know, you’re not directly eligible for in a local government capacity. But there are ways to, to engage with procurement processes and to capture that value. But there are also infrastructure incentives that are out there both to support the capital costs, but also for the operating costs, there are incentives to make it cheaper to charge during off peak overnight hours. And by having more volumetric electricity being sold during off peak hours, you can put downward pressure on electricity rates and make electricity in general, cheaper for all, all customers. So there are incentives, you know, from certain electricity rates, to certain infrastructure packages that are out there states have been administering these over the last few years. But even before there was, before there were incentives on the table, the private sector was installing and supporting the deployment of chargers and, and so was the public sector. So there are pieces that are out there, we actually have a pretty comprehensive list of EV charging incentives that are available on the website for Chargepoint. And our incentive page, you can help folks make sure that they can take advantage of incentives that are out there and that they’re eligible for. So I’ll shoot you the link. And maybe we can make sure that folks have the good word.

Javon Davis  32:46

Great. Yeah, thank you. So you’d also have another big topic happening, a little government’s now, everyone’s thinking about how can they be more green? How can they as a city or you know, a town, for what infrastructure they have, how can they better transition over to something cleaner, better for the environment? So I know a lot of places are switching over their municipal fleets all their, you know, all their vehicles that the city workers use. What should people know before they make that switch? What do you think are things that were helpful for people to think about before considering that, that big of a change?

Kevin Miller  33:19

That’s a great question, because it can be exciting. And you can even just get a directive that we need to electrify our fleet. So let’s get the procurements going. For for more vehicles, the vehicle side is one half of the equation, particularly if we’re thinking about vehicle fleets for the public sector, it’s really important to plan out the approach to infrastructure, the way that the vehicle fleets are using their duty cycles, that’s going to really determine the way that you need to charge the vehicles and what considerations you have to have. So focusing on charging infrastructure, both in the short, medium and long term and thinking about how your eventual vehicle fleet transition plan is going to work is important because it’ll help you understand what are the decisions that need to be made now? And what are the decisions that will help me in the future to take further actions? There’s a whole host of ways in which those charging infrastructure needs can be addressed from thinking about, you know, are there practical applications for home charging for any of the employees that are using our vehicle fleets? Our charging infrastructure, you know, is this something that needs to be done? And typically, often will? Is the charging infrastructure going to be deployed in a depot where there isn’t public access? You know, what are the considerations we have to have there? And then is there a broad public value that that could be available by providing access to charging at workplaces that could be reserved for employees In the day, but made available to the public at night, which you can do with software enabled infrastructure. So lots of pieces to think about and all that is to say, it’s really important to plan effectively for the infrastructure, and not just think about what are the new vehicle models that are coming out?

Javon Davis  35:19

Great, maybe you can differ on the specifics from like town to town to the city, but can you talk about the impact of switching over to an EV fleet we have, like how much money is that one could expect to save or the environmental impact that we see? 

Kevin Miller  35:33

Sure. So on the environmental impact, if it can be massive, so if what we’re trying to do is track against sustainability goals, that’s something that you know, Chargepoint reports out and makes available for all of its its operators, is tracking, you know, the GHG emissions avoidance as a result of supporting the electrification of their vehicle fleets. From a more fiscal basis, I think there was a recent Consumer Reports study, that confirms the sort of generally held principle that the lifetime maintenance costs for electric vehicles, fully battery electric vehicles, as well as plug in hybrids are about half the cost of that for an internal combustion engine vehicle. You know, for the first 50,000 or so miles, the maintenance and repair costs for a fully electric vehicle are about 12 cents per mile. Compared to Oh, sorry, .012 cents per mile. Versus, you know, about two or three cents per mile for internal combustion engine vehicle. So, you know, you’re talking about half the cost in those first 50 miles. And depending on how the duty cycles pan out, that can be significant. That said, there are challenges for fleet operators to realize that value, but thinking about it, broadly, speaking, from a public perspective, you can lower the total cost of ownership and operation by a significant amount, as well as you know, massively reduce tailpipe emissions.

Javon Davis  37:17

Great, that’s really interesting. So like, I said, I was gonna say that small of, a small change can make a big impact. But I realize it is a big change for some people, but it’s definitely the future. I think it’s obvious for most of us who are around now to know that, you know, we’re going to be seeing a more electrified vehicle, fulfilled world. So it’s, it’s probably going to happen for most cities and towns at some point and might be great now to start thinking about what that’s going to look like when it comes when your people are demanding it.

Kevin Miller  37:45

Definitely. Much better to have the plan in place before those those demands start coming. Because in there are actions that we can take now thinking about what are the steps that local government, local unit of government is already taking? How do we make sure that we’re allowing for these transitions because the way that transportation, the transportation sector refuels is significantly changing? So the way that you know, we do business, we regulate permits, and maybe we have to think about how can we match against that as opposed to pattern matching against the old paradigm of pitstop refueling, so lots of steps that can be taken both for the lead by example, actions and vehicle fleet uses of local units of government themselves. But then so many things that can be done to make make it easier for folks to transition themselves, either for vehicles they own or for when they’re riding, you know, electric vehicles, or for when they’re just in their communities and getting to avoid emission and particulate matter out of tailpipes. 

Javon Davis  39:01

Great. Well, thank you so much for coming on. I have one more question for you. It’s a very important one.

Kevin Miller  39:05

Okay, I’m ready.

Javon Davis  39:07

What do you think should be the song to end your episode today? 

Kevin Miller  39:11

Alright, so that’s also challenging, I’d say much more difficult than the Mimosa versus Bloody Mary question. You know, you could go so many different ways. I’m gonna have to go with The Passenger by Iggy Pop, because I didn’t have that driver’s license growing up. So we got to think about how do we make sure that we’re increasing access for all folks, whether you drive a vehicle or not, or whether you’re just riding so that anything that can move, all people goods and services can can be plugged in and make sure our communities are clean and healthy.

Javon Davis  39:54

Great. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting with me today.

Kevin Miller  39:57

No, It was a pleasure. Really appreciate your focus on this and thanks for having me. 

Javon Davis  40:05

Of course. Well if you have any, listeners, if you have any questions, check out Chargepoint they have a lot of great resources about this municipal fleet and different incentives that local government to use to help promote electric vehicles. That ends our episode for today. Gov Love is hosted by rotating cast of ELGL members and for our listeners, you can reach us at ELGL.org/GovLove, on twitter @GovLovePodcast. Please subscribe to Gov Love in your favorite podcast service and leave us a review and we’ll send you some sweet ELGL swag. If you have a story for us, we want to hear it, send us a message on Twitter. Thanks for listening. This has been Gov Love, a podcast about local government


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